Acting on the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) request, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday suspended the diplomatic passport of liquor baron Vijay Mallya with immediate effect for a period of four weeks, under Section 10-A of the Passports Act.
The Ministry of External Affair (MEA) asked Mallya to respond within a week as to why his passport should not be impounded or revoked. "If he(Mallya) fails to respond within stipulated time it will be assumed he has no response to offer and MEA will go ahead with revocation," said MEA. The Enforcement Directorate had earlier issued summons to Mallya for "personal appearance" on March 18 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Following Mallya's request seeking extension, the Enforcement Directorate issued a fresh summons to the liquor baron, asking him to appear before it on April 2 in the money laundering case. Mallya claimed that the banks gave him loans after evaluating all aspects and asserted that he is not trying to evade the law enforcement agencies. Mallya is understood to have taken shelter in the United Kingdom on a diplomatic passport.